Episode 13: The Disappearance of Alexis Murphy
Summary of the Case:
On August 3rd, 2013, 17-year-old Alexis Murphy went to go buy some hair extensions. On the way, she stopped and got some gas. Security footage caught images of her walking into the gas station, and making small talk with another male patron. Shortly after she was seen leaving, and she and the man drove off in separate cars, but in the same direction. She was never seen again.
Alexis’s car was found abandoned at a movie theater. Her cell phone was still on, so police used the signal and it lead them to a trailer on a big piece of property at the end of a barren road. The trailer belonged to Randy Taylor, who invited police into his trailer. In his trailer, police found a nose ring, a broken false fingernail, and long dark hair.
Randy admitted Alexis had been in his trailer, but claimed she was with a friend, and left very much alive. Although investigators did not find her body, they did find her cell phone on his property, as well as more evidence in his trailer. Randy was charged with the disappearance of Alexis. His trial began on May 1st, 2014. The defense continued to claim that Randy did not hurt Alexis, and it must have been this other male who was with Alexis that night. Randy was found guilty of the abduction and murder of Alexis.
But soon a serial killer theory would evolve. Alexis was not the first or last girl to go missing. But if a girl went missing after Randy was arrested, then he couldn’t have been the serial killer or the killer of Alexis, his defense team argued.
Morgan Dana Harrington was just 20 years old when she went missing in 2009, from Charlottesville, Virginia, about an hour from where Alexis lived. 19-year-old Samantha Ann Clarke disappeared from Orange, Virginia, only an hour and 15 minutes from where Alexis lived. And on September 13th, 2014, four years to the day after Samantha went missing, and more than a year after Randy had been arrested and denied bond, 18-year-old Hannah Elizabeth Graham would disappear from Charlottesville, Virginia.
Within a few days, investigators would be able to tie the disappearance of Hannah to the last person she was seen with, LJ Matthew, via security footage at a restaurant. Her body and Morgan’s were found soon after, within a few miles of each other. LJ plead guilty to the abductions and murders of Hannah and Morgan, but denied any knowledge about the whereabouts of Alexis. His DNA was not found in Randy’s trailer, meaning it is unlikely he was there that night with Randy and Alexis.
In 2010, three years before Alexis went missing, Samantha was living in a trailer park where Randy also lived. He was the last person Samantha talked to before she disappeared. To this day, Randy maintains his innocence. Neither Alexis or Samantha have ever been found.
Sources for the Episode:
The Charlie Project
Morgan Harrington’s Wikipedia Page
Hannah Graham Wikipedia Page
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